Geographic Variation in Behavior
Studies of animal behavior often assume that all members of a species exhibit the same behavior. Geographic Variation in Behavior shows that, on the contrary, there is substantional variation within species across a wide range of taxa. Including work from pioneers in the field, this volume provides a balanced overview of research on behavioral characteristics that vary geographically. The authors explore the mechanisms by which behavioral differences evolve and examine related methodological issues. Taken together, the work collected here demonstrates that genetically based geographic variation may be far more widespread than previously suspected. The book also shows how variation in behavior can illuminate both behavioral evolution and general evolutionary patterns. Unique among books on behavior in its emphasis on geographic variation, this volume is a valuable new resource for students and researchers in animal behavior and evolutionary biology.
Variations in health care use within a country are complicated. In some cases they may reflect differences in health needs, in patient preferences or in the diffusion of a therapeutic innovation; in others they may not. There is evidence that some of the observed variations are unwarranted, signalling under- or over-provision of health services, or both. This study documents geographic variations for high-cost and high-volume procedures in select OECD countries. It finds that there are wide variations not only across countries, but within them as well. A mix of patient preferences and physician practice styles likely play an important part in this, but what part of the observed variations reflects over-provision, or whether there are unmet needs, remain largely unexplained. This report helps policy makers better understand the issues and challenges around geographic variations in health care provision and considers the policy options.